When I was in college my roommates and I often pulled out Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and worked out hard in the comfort of our own living room. There were three levels and we spent a lot of time on level one. In the middle of the workout, when things start to get tough she says something that will stay etched on my mind forever.
“People are always telling you to just take the stairs. That is a false message of lethargy and it is not doing you any favors. You are capable of working out and working out hard.”
That nudge was all it took to keep pushing through the pain and finish the workout strong. I love this quote, it is so true. Sometimes we think we can get our workouts in by doing simple tasks like taking the stairs or parking our car far away, but really all it is doing is getting us 100 more steps and excusing us from more challenging exercises that will actually improve our health. These things we tell ourselves are false messages that we use when we are lacking motivation, energy, and enthusiasm.
Although this quote is from an exercise DVD, I thought it was very applicable to so many situations in our lives. There are so many false messages of lethargy out there that other people tell us or that we tell ourselves.
For example, if you really want to figure out how to use your new DLSR camera a false message of lethargy may be that the automatic function takes pretty good pictures. Or if you want to change your nutrition you might say to yourself “but I eat pretty healthy.” If you want to write a novel or start an Etsy shop, or do any number of things, creating false messages of lethargy can be an easy way to avoid the struggle of trying something new in your life. So we often set aside our dreams or goals for another day while excusing our behavior with false messages of lethargy.
I do this all the time. It is a really hard habit to overcome because it is so much easier to just give in to our excuses. I have found that I miss out on learning new skills or trying new things. I also have feelings of envy or jealousy towards others who have mastered things I would like to try but just have not gotten around to.
The second part of the quote is the most important part of the quote. You are capable of working out, learning how to work a camera, opening an Etsy shop, eating healthy, writing a novel, or just doing whatever it is you want to do. You are capable even if it seems daunting. You are capable of doing hard things.
So when others tell you (or you tell yourself) you can “just take the stairs” remember it is a false message of lethargy and it is not doing you any favors. You are capable of doing the hard thing you want to accomplish.